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Solid Start To League Play For Varsity Volleyball Girls
Escalon JV player Julia Casillas, 9, goes up above the net to tip the ball over against Riverbank in action on the road Tuesday, Sept. 12. The JV girls were winners of the Trans-Valley League opener, 2-0. Ric McGinnis/The Times

After hosting Tokay in non-league action Monday, Sept. 11 and falling by a 3-0 decision, the Escalon varsity volleyball girls then got down to business to start Trans-Valley League action.

They were on the road to face off with Riverbank in the TVL opener on Tuesday, Sept. 12 and hosted rival Ripon on Thursday, Sept. 14. Both matches went in the win column for the Lady Cougars.

At Riverbank, the visiting Escalon squad was never really threatened in a sweep, taking down the host Lady Bruins 25-4, 25-7, 25-2.

Kaitlyn Herrera had 10 kills on the night while Brielle Arauza notched 17 assists. Tiana Lopez added six digs and Tess Cosby served up eight aces.

25-4; 25-7; 25-2

Escalon took their home court to face off against Ripon on Thursday night and stayed focused as they played their way to a 3-1 victory.

“It was awesome,” admitted head coach Teresa Williamson.

Escalon took a 2-0 lead on the visitors, winning 25-17, 25-20 before Ripon put up a fight and took game three, 22-25. With a team resolve not to let Ripon get back in to the contest, Escalon battled to a 25-19 decision in the fourth game to get the 3-1 win.

“I schedule a very tough pre-season to try and prepare my girls for league,” Williamson explained. “They showed how hard they have been working Thursday night. They stepped it up and played amazing.”

Leaders were Herrera with 14 kills, Arauza with 30 assists, Lopez with 17 digs. Notching five aces each were Lopez and Hannah Murphy.

“I am so very proud of these girls,” added Williamson. “We know the hard work has to continue.”

The varsity girls were scheduled to host Mountain House in TVL play on Tuesday, after The Times went to press and will be at Modesto Christian on Thursday, Sept. 21.



Wins in a non-league game and their Trans-Valley League opener made for a fun start to the week for Escalon. The JV girls, however, fell on the home court to close out the week, losing to league rival Ripon.

They took the court Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, after playing in the Oakdale Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 9.

“Last weekend molded us,” said coach Krystal Rodriguez. “I always love playing the Oakdale tournament before league starts because it gets us ready for the following week.”

Right out of the gate, the coach noted, they hosted Tokay and beat the visitors in two, 25-16, 25-17.

Koren Rodriguez had five kills and six aces on the day, Sage Davis had a block, Natalie Cortes notched six digs and Hannah Boyd with nine assists.

The JV girls went to Riverbank on Tuesday, Sept. 12 to start TVL action and won in two; scores were 25-13, 25-8.

“They’re learning how to control the game more on our side and molding more and more each match we play,” Rodriguez said of the team working well together to get the victory.

Thursday, on the home court, Ripon got the league win, taking down Escalon in straight sets.

“We started out so strong and played hard all the way through but Ripon came out and took the win,” said Rodriguez of losing 21 25, 12 25. “We had killer defense and teamwork all the way around. The second set we just tuned out and shut down … they still worked hard but not hard enough.”

Julia Casillas had six kills, Katie Karp with two aces, Rodriguez had nine digs and Boyd with seven assists in the loss.

“I’m very proud of how they played as a team and how hard they worked. Fewer errors on our side next time and they can take the win,” Rodriguez said. “Not taking anything away from Ripon because they are a good team but I feel we beat ourselves.”

The coach said the girls are focusing on a lot of basics and will continue to fine tune that as they move forward in league play.

“Not missing serves, communication on and off the court, trusting each other to do their job,” she said of their ‘to-do’ list.

Action this week will include a trip to Modesto Christian on Thursday, Sept. 21 for a 5:30 p.m. contest.



Escalon got a victory over Tokay on Monday night, Sept. 11, defeating the visitors by a 25-7, 25-16 verdict.

“Game one we came out strong with very tough serving,” said coach Morgan Jensen. “Game two we tested out a few new plays and different serving techniques, which is very exciting at this level. I’m very proud of how they connect with one another and also very impressed with how quickly they learn new plays.”

Libero Kailey Costa played very aggressive against Tokay, noted Jensen, leading in kills with four.

“Our setter/outside hitter, Madi Faria, had amazing serving, leading with seven aces and also two assists,” Jensen added. “Our outside hitter, Liz Cortez, led in digs with five.”

The frosh girls did not take the court on Tuesday, as Riverbank doesn’t field a freshman team.

They were back on the home court Thursday, hosting Ripon to start Trans-Valley League play.

“We lost to Ripon in two, 11-25, 21-25. The scores completely reflect our momentum,” Jensen explained. “Game one we were a little timid and not communicating with one another. Game two we gained momentum back and started talking but it just started a little too late.”

Mya Scott led with three kills, Faria had seven assists and three aces, and Costa had 14 digs in the contest.

The freshmen are scheduled to play at Waterford on Thursday night, Sept. 21.